Damien Durandt positive of Augustine Matata's win

Nkululeko Mhlongo digs an uppercut at Brandon Thysse. Thysse's camp hopes his true reflection will be on display on May 10. / SUPPLIED.
Nkululeko Mhlongo digs an uppercut at Brandon Thysse. Thysse's camp hopes his true reflection will be on display on May 10. / SUPPLIED.
Image: SUPPLIED.

Can lightning strike the same place twice? Yes, says successful boxing trainer Damien Durandt.

He will lead Augustine "Big Ben" Matata in what could be war of attrition against WBA Pan African middleweight holder Nkululeko "Bull Dog" Mhlongo at Umfolozi Casino in Empangeni on April 5.

Durandt's other boxer, Emmany "The General" Kalombo, sprung a surprise in 2018 when he knocked out hot favourite Mhlongo in the fifth round for the WBF Intercontinental junior middleweight belt.

Kalombo was the dark horse going into that bout against super-talented Mhlongo.

Mhlongo's fight against the inexperienced Congolese will headline Nokwanda Mbatha's Tono Promotions bill at the venue that is situated 157km north of Durban.

Durandt said: "Lightning will definitely strike twice at the same place. I expect the fight to be tough because both boxers had ample time to prepare, but I think the added advantage is that we know more about Mhlongo than he knows about Matata.

"It's going to be one hell of a fight, but I believe the younger and less war-ridden fighter [Matata] will be victorious on the night."

Mhlongo - a former undefeated SA junior middleweight champ who holds the domestic middleweight strap - has 18 wins in 26 fights.

Nokwanda said the matchup sounds interesting and probably the best of the evening.

"I'm looking forward to it. It should be an interesting first fight for Mhlongo at home," she said, adding that top contenders for the vacant SA heavyweight belt, Joshua Pretorius (No2) and Luke Sutherland (No4), will meet in the main supporting bout over 12 rounds for the vacant WBA Pan African title.

In total, there will be seven bouts and action starts at 2pm.

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